The Oldest Living Things in the World

What’s old? Is an iPhone 4 old? Sure, just ask any teen. How about Windows XP? That’s decrepit, right? So says Microsoft. How about a Sony Walkman? So ancient that kids can’t even figure out what to do with it. Betty White’s pretty old, but still kicking well past 90. But even Betty is a mere baby compared to the subjects in a new photography book by Rachel Sussman titled appropriately enough, The Oldest Living Things in the World.

Sussman spent a decade traveling the world photographing living organisms that are at least 2000 years old. Things like a 7000-year-old Japanese cedar, 13,000-year-old Australian eucalyptus, and an 80,000-year-old colony of Aspen trees. Can you image what would those trees tell us if they could speak? My guess is “slow down.” And “watch it with that saw.”

You can see the author talk about her experience making the book in this TED talk from 2010.

Might be worth picking up a copy of the book as a reminder of just how young we all really are.

But your phone’s still really old. Nothing’s gonna change that.

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Posted on: April 16, 2014

Mike Rankin

Mike is the Editor in Chief of InDesignSecrets.com, InDesign Magazine, and CreativePro.com. He is also the author of several lynda.com video training series, including Font Management Essential Training, InDesign FX, and InDesign CC: Interactive Document Fundamentals.

1 Comment on The Oldest Living Things in the World

  1. Thanks for sharing thin info. It’s impossible to believe how old these trees are!

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